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Proposed wind farm off coast of Morro Bay detailed for public this week

Trident Winds Morro Bay proposal

Early plans are underway to build a massive wind farm 20 miles off the coast of Morro Bay. 

The project as proposed could generate up to 1000 MW of electricity, significantly larger than the city's 650 MW natural gas plant that was shuttered early in 2014.

Alla Weinstein is the founder of Trident Winds, the company looking to build the project. She told KCBX, it'll be too far off the coast to see from shore, in an area that will require floating wind turbines.

"The water depth off the California coast prevents us from really putting really anything on the bottom of the ocean floor, because if we would, you would have a shoreline lined up with turbines, which I don't think anybody's going to appreciate," said Weinstein.

Weinstein said the distance from land also reduces the danger for migratory birds.

She estimates the permitting process alone could take up to five years.

The City of Morro Bay was chosen because there are already transmission lines in place that served the Dynegy plant.

The City Council voted in October to cooperate with Trident Winds to study the feasibility of the proposal, and has a Trident Winds Project section on it's website.

Wind power is a growing industry in the U.S. The latest numbers from the Department of Energy show wind accounted for nearly a third of all new generation capacity installed since 2008.

A public meeting to discuss the project is being held Thursday night from 6-8:00 p.m. at the Veterans' Memorial Hall.